Cameron Smith can become LIV Golf’s second individual champion this weekend at the scene of his first win on the breakaway circuit.
The Australian will put himself out of reach of his rivals with one counting tournament to spare if he wins in Chicago on Sunday and nearest challenger Talor Gooch finishes outside the top three.
Smith is the man in form, having won two of the last three LIV Golf events, London in July and Bedminster last month, when he trounced the field by seven shots.
The former Open winner is also the defending champion at Rich Harvest Farms, having won there 12 months ago in just his second appearance on the tour.
“It’s something that I’ve worked for,” Smith said after his Bedminster win. “Something that was a goal of mine at the start of the year was to be up there with at least a chance for the last event.”
LIV Golf’s season finale is the Team Championship in Miami next month, meaning the race to be individual champion will conclude the week before in Jeddah.
Dustin Johnson took that honour, and a £14m bonus, last year and Smith can secure the same windfall before even heading to Saudi Arabia.
He is also on track to match Johnson’s total earnings of £28m last season, which included the bonus and success in the Team Championship with his 4Aces.
Smith’s Ripper GC, which also includes Marc Leishman, Matt Jones and Jediah Morgan, is currently in the bottom half of the table, although all 12 teams remain in with a chance of winning the title in the knockout-format finale.
Morgan has another incentive to perform this week, with his status on the tour next season in serious risk. He sits 46th in the standings, with players in places 45 and down automatically relegated, unless they are team captains.
Chase Koepka, brother of Brooks and part of his Crushers GC team, is also in the relegation zone, along with James Piot and Sihwan Kim.